National Public Defense Week

10 Good Reasons to Honor Public Defense This Week

Besides March Madness, the third week of March 2017 marks other noteworthy occasions. Among these, according to Google, are: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, Brain Awareness Week, Girl Scout Week, and Public Defense Week. The value of the first three are self-evident: Breathing. Thinking. Thin Mints. But why public defense? Isn’t it already inclusively acknowledged in National […]

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What Was Wrong with My Trial Game

Great lessons are learned in the field. But how do you prepare for the game when you don’t even know the plays? It can be helpful to learn from the mistakes of others, but it can be quite a challenge to find someone willing to share their mistakes.

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Courthouse Dogs Enhance the Fact-Finding Process

We have all seen a veteran describing a traumatic event on the battlefield start to choke up, weep, and become so overwhelmed with emotion that he is unable to continue speaking. The same thing can happen to vulnerable witnesses, especially children, when describing a traumatic event to a jury.

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marijuana law

Marijuana and Driving: 2014 Update

As Washington’s first wave of pot shops opened in early July, it is high time for a quick recap of our state’s laws prohibiting stoned driving. It has been over a year since Bill Kirk’s excellent post on the myths and facts of Washington marijuana law, and DUI laws have since changed. It is a […]

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SCOTUS in Review: Riley v. California & United States v. Wurie

While the media is embroiled in the controversy surrounding the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court also made a significant Fourth Amendment ruling in People v. Riley, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 44997 (2014). The case creates a bright line rule against warrantless searches of cell phones under the search incident to arrest doctrine (SITA). […]

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Friday 5: Myths About Police Officers that Attorneys Should Know

Explore — and debunk — common myths about police officers. Attorneys work with police officers through depositions, prosecutions, defense cases, and through many other interactions — maybe even getting stopped for a traffic ticket.  We all know “it’s not like on TV,” but it might be worth exploring some of the most common myths about […]

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State v. Dye: Every Dog Has His Day…in Court

The WA Supreme Court weighs in on the use of comfort dogs in court. Man’s best friend has taken on an important role in today’s society, far surpassing what Lassie began. We’re familiar with dogs being used in certain capacities: seeing Eye dogs, drug sniff dogs, and even seizure dogs. Law school libraries have even kept dogs on […]

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Case Law Changes to Mandatory Blood Tests

Under State v. Gauthier, citizens have the right to refuse a warrantless blood test, and such refusal cannot be used as evidence at trial. Defense attorneys have argued for years that a breath or blood test constitutes a search and that without a warrant, citizens should have the right to refuse the search without consequence. Washington courts […]

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Quick Recap: State v. Vasquez, No. 87282-1

Is possession of a forged document enough to sustain a forgery conviction? No, says the WA Supreme Court. Learn more. This post was originally published by Queen City Addendum on August 6, 2013. Reposted with permission. The recent Washington Supreme Court case, State v. Vasquez, No. 87282-1, En Banc, focuses on possession of forged documents (such as Social Security cards). The Court […]

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